Pregnancy is a time of change for every part of a woman's body, including her breasts. As a woman progresses from the first trimester of pregnancy to the second and third trimesters, her breasts will become tender and swell as they prepare for the business of lactation after the baby's birth. Maternity bras are specially designed to accommodate these changes and should be worn by pregnant women from the fourth month of pregnancy on.
Measuring for a Maternity Bra
Size yourself for a maternity bra during the fourth month of pregnancy. Put on a comfortable bra and have a helper measure around your chest with a measuring tape, directly beneath your breasts. Round the measurement to the nearest inch. Add 4 inches to the number if the resulting measurement is an even number; add 5 inches to the number if the measurement is odd. This number is your band size. Determine your bust size by having your helper measure around your chest at the fullest part of your bust. Round the number to the nearest inch and subtract the band measurement from this second number. The resulting number is your cup size.
Determine which letter your cup size measurement corresponds to. The most common cup sizes are as follows: up to 1/2 inch is size AA, up to 1 inch is size A, up to 2 inches is size B, up to 3 inches is size C, and up to 4 inches is size D. Combine this cup letter with your previously measured band size in order to find the correct bra size. For instance, if your band size is 38 inches and your cup letter is B, the appropriate bra for you is a 38B.
Look for maternity bras with that provide plenty of support with wide, cushioned bands and shoulder straps. Since the breasts can continue to increase in size as the pregnancy progresses, look for maternity bras with at least three sets of back band hooks to accommodate changing size needs.
Choose soft cup maternity bras over underwire bras. Softcup maternity bras are a better choice for tender breasts during pregnancy and will prevent problems with breast infections or blocked mammary ducts that can develop when wearing underwire bras.
Try on the bra and determine if it is a comfortable fit. The straps should stay in place on your shoulders and not slip down. They should not feel unpleasantly tight, either. Likewise, the band should not feel so tight that it is restricting your breathing. It is also important to make certain that no part of the band is placing pressure on the breasts. The band should lie completely on the rib cage, beneath the breasts, and not press on any portion of the breasts.
Comfortable pre-pregnancy bra